Through our attorney, LifeNews has issued a response to the NAACP, which recently sent us an a letter attempting to intimidate LifeNews and pressure us to stop reporting on its long-standing pro-abortion position and opposition to pro-life legislation to protect black babies from abortion.
In February, the NAACP threatened to sue LifeNews.com and Ryan Bomberger, a LifeNews blogger , for a column that took the civil rights organization to task over its abortion position. The NAACP is upset about a column Bomberger wrote at LifeNews titled, “NAACP: National Association for the Abortion of Colored People,” which notes the organization’s 44th Annual Image Awards.
Following the piece, the NAACP sent Bomberger, the director of the Radiance Foundation, and LifeNews a threatening letter claiming infringement on its name and logo for including it in the opinion column. Eventually the NAACP dropped LifeNews from its attempt to silence Bomberger’s pro-life reporting.
In a departure from centuries of case law defending the right to free speech, U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Jackson issued a ridiculous order essentially denying Bomberger’s free speech and preventing him from writing, producing or saying anything criticizing the NAACP over its pro-abortion position.
Not content to stifle Bomberger’s free speech and even though the lawsuit is not final — Bomberger is appealing the decision to stand up for his free speech — the NAACP is now threatening LifeNews again.
The venerable civil rights group sent LifeNews a threatening letter promising legal action and threatening to sue LifeNews for monetary damages for keeping Bomberger’s story online at LifeNews. The NAACP is also upset that LifeNews exposed its opposition to a pro-life bill in Arizona that bans raced-based abortions. In other words, the top civil rights organization in the country that ostensibly is supposed to protect black Americans is opposed to a bill that prevents abortions on babies specifically because they’re African-American!
The NAACP alleges LifeNews is in violation of the court order silencing Bomberger and revoking his free speech.
“Unless we receive, by no later than the close of business on Friday, June 13, 2014, your written confirmation that you have [removed these two articles from the LifeNews web site] we intend to bring the matter before the court,” the NAACP threatens in its letter. “We will ask the Court to hold you and organization in contempt … and award NAACP monetary sanctions and other relief.”
Today, LifeNews’ attorney, Michael Norton of Alliance Defending Freedom, issued a response essentially saying the NAACP has no legal leg on which to stand in its threats against LifeNews.
“While LifeNews.com was not made a party by your client to this litigation and is therefore not privy to any litigation decisions which either have been or may be made by Radiance or Mr. Bomberger, we understand that both the district court’s decision and this Permanent Injunction have been appealed,” the letter responds. “Thus, its finality is in doubt.”
Norton tells the NAACP that “we know of no evidence (and you have presented no admissible evidence) that supports your client’s assertion that LifeNews.com has” violated the court order against Bomberger. “Thus, we know of no good faith factual or legal basis that would, should the threats in your June 6, 2014 letter be carried out, support your client’s claims against LifeNews.com, even assuming that the Permanent Injunction stands following appeal and/or can be legally applied to LifeNews.com.”
The letter promises that if the NAACP “elects to proceed with litigation against LifeNews.com, you may be sure that we will vigorously defend LifeNews.com’s First Amendment speech and press rights and request an award of attorneys’ fees to LifeNews.com.”
Regarding the NAACP’s effort to silence LifeNews, “[Your effort] is without merit and is denied,” the letter concludes.